Social Sciences Graduate Emphasis

Social Sciences is a currently approved emphasis under the Individual Graduate Program (IGP).  This graduate emphasis offers students individualized training and the opportunity to help build a unique, interdisciplinary research community. Graduate study within Social Sciences is currently organized as four tracks:  economics, political science, public health and sociology. Students are educated in a particular discipline, but have the opportunity to engage in interdisciplinary research and collaboration if they so desire. Graduate study at UC Merced will involve working closely with one or more professors, so prospective applicants should carefully consult the faculty list for current research topics.

  • Economics. This track provides training in such applied microeconomic fields as environmental economics, political economy, industrial organization, public economics, law and economics, and economic history.
  • Political Science. This track provides training in quantitative approaches to political science. Students select between two substantive tracks: political cognition and behavior (CAB) and political institutions and political economy (PIPE). In addition, all students are required to take a core methods sequence including research design, introductory regression, and advanced regression analysis as well as a research practicum.  
  • Public Health. This track is a multidisciplinary area of research and study that focuses on measuring, understanding and improving the health of the population, including assessing the health needs of vulnerable populations, understanding the causes and determinants of health challenges and problems, and identifying ways to improve the public health system and the health of the population.
  • Sociology. The sociology track offers training in three primary areas of specialization: inequality (race, class, gender and sexuality); political sociology and social movements; and organizations and institutions.